Last week at English In Cyprus we celebrated “Tsiknopempti” or otherwise known as “Smelly Thursday”, “Barbeque Thursday” or even “Smoky Thursday”, where all the students and staff got dressed up, and followed the tradition of eating meat and dancing to carnival tunes. “Tsiknopempti” is the first day of traditional celebrations for the three-week carnival season, which then leads to Lent ahead of the Greek Orthodox Easter. The name of this celebration has been given to this specific day because of the literal smell of grilled meat in the air.
The first week of celebrations is called “prelude”, the second week is “meat week” and third week is “cheese week”. “Tsiknopempti” is on the Thursday during the week known as “meat week”. The idea is to consume large amounts of grilled meat before the 50-day fasting period leading to Easter begins. On this day each year, outdoor barbeques are set up everywhere and anywhere throughout the whole country.
This year, we celebrated “Tsiknopempti” with our lovely students from all over the world! It is always a pleasure sharing our culture with our students but also getting to know about their own traditions and celebrations.